The family blew up
As I traveled over the last few days, the topic of The Parkland Massacre came up. Often. Another sickening assault on the senses. Profound sadness for those directly impacted.
Sadly, and as we have said before, there is no quick fix here. We have done this to ourselves. Who was it who said, "we have met the enemy and he is us."
Quick fixes? Gun control? Perimeter fencing? Treatment for the emotionally unstable or mentally ill? Our law enforcement agencies ignored the signals.
Sorry. This time it is structural. Structural failure is always the most suborn to root out of the system. In my view, there is a holistic solution here. We must do everything in our power to quit killing ourselves. The initiatives to favorably impact and address this plague will be painstaking and difficult.
Came across Peggy Noonan's Declarations column that appears regularly in the WSJ on Saturday's. I've remarked before that in my view, Noonan is such an extraordinarily gifted writer. And the poignancy in her words.
Reiterating the obvious, Noonan said "We have been swept by social, technological and cultural revolution. The family blew up—divorce, unwed childbearing. Fatherless sons. Fatherless daughters, too. Poor children with no one to love them. The internet flourished. Porn proliferated. Drugs, legal and illegal. Violent videogames, in which nameless people are eliminated and spattered all over the screen."
"So much change. So much of it un-gentle. It does not feel accidental that America is experiencing what appears to be a mental-health crisis, especially among the young."
As a society, it appears to me that we are de-sensitized to these events. Day after day, night after night. All too frequent.
The CDC recently reported that 20% of children aged 3-17 have, in any given year, a mental or emotional issue. NPR reported than in 1980, 1% of the prison population had serious mental illness. In 2005, 21%. Statistics. If you're cynical of the statistics, what happens if they are half-right?
I would submit to you that there are many competing initiatives here that need to be prioritized and align us towards some sort of long-term solution. 'Ignore at your peril' no longer a cliché. I think I heard over 5M+ AR-15's (the assault rifle used in The Parkland Massacre and 7/10 of the most recent shootings) in America. And, that may be light. More firepower than issued to those sanctioned to protect us.
If my math is right, about 1%+ of the population in the US carries an AR-15. Gun control? Maybe. Go ahead, run a Constitutional Amendment up the flagpole. As a reminder, that one would be our Second Amendment. Not likely. Not easy choices. What to do with 5M already in our collective hands and souls?